Daido Moriyama
[Photographer, b. 1938, Ikeda-cho, Osaka, Japan, lives in Tokyo.]

 Although photography is called an art, the photograph is not a tableau, born of nothing; it is not something unique, like a painting or a sculpture or the productions of the other arts. It is rather like an optical machine developed to such a point that nowadays even a cat can take photos. 
 I admit that photography can capture reality effectively and in detail, viewing a part of the world through its cold, scientific lens rather than with the eyes. But I prefer taking photographs without looking through the viewfinder. 
 Language is a direct medium and communicates meaning and intention straight. A photograph, on the other hand, is subject to the viewer’s memory, aesthetics, and feelings—all of which affect how the photograph is seen. 
 I do not try to find myself in what I “shoot,” but perhaps I want to see the position of the world I am in. 
 …I wish to take photographs freely, without technical restrictions. For example, I take most of my snapshots from a moving car, or without looking through the viewfinder when I am on foot. You might say I take photographs not only with my eyes, but with my entire body. 
 A photograph... isn’t conclusive the way language is. But that’s what makes photography interesting. There’s no point in making photographs that use language in an expository way. 
 For me, photography is not a means by which to create beautiful art, but a unique way of encountering genuine reality at the point where the enormous fragments of the world — which I can never completely embrace by taking photos — coincide with my own inextricable predicament. 
 I brush aside words and ideas, and focus on photography as a means of expressing a message that is both psychological and phenomenological. Without that framework, my approach is very simple—there is no artistry. I just shoot freely. For example, most of my snapshots I take from a moving car, or while running, without the finder, and in those instances one might say that I’m taking the pictures more with my body than with my eyes. 
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